FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Kentucky made one timely late-game 3-pointer after another in an attempt to snap its recent struggles at Arkansas.
The 13th-ranked Wildcats, however, forgot to block out on the other end when it mattered most - opening the door for the Razorbacks to pull out an 87-85 overtime win Tuesday night.
Michael Qualls slammed home a thundering two-hand rebound dunk with .2 seconds remaining in overtime to lift Arkansas (12-4, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) to the win, extending the Razorbacks’ home winning streak over Kentucky to three games.
It was Young, however, who failed on the other end to block out Qualls - who flew in from the baseline as time was winding down, corralling Ky Madden’s 3-point miss and sending the season-high Bud Walton Arena crowd of 18,619 into a frenzy with his dunk.
“It was just my fault,” Young said. “I stopped playing at the last second, thought it was going to bounce off and time was going to run out. I just stopped playing at the last second.”
The win came at a time of desperation for the Razorbacks, who had opened SEC play with two losses - including a heartbreaking overtime defeat to No. 7 Florida at home on Saturday.
And it came in dramatic fashion, thanks to the high-flying Qualls, who said he also won two games in high school with last-second rebound dunks.
The sophomore entered the game leading the Razorbacks in scoring at 12.7 points per game, but he had struggled mightily in SEC play - shooting a combined 3 of 22 (13.6 percent) in the first two conference games.
“Crashing the boards in that type of situation is the best time to crash the boards,” Qualls said. “… They forget about you. I just saw an opportunity and took it.”
Qualls and Madden both finished with 18 points, while Alandise Harris finished with 12 and Bobby Portis 11.
It was Qualls, who made national highlight shows earlier this season with his spectacular one-handed tomahawk dunk over 6-foot-10 Southern Illinois-Edwardsville forward Keaton Jackson, whose final play is sure to be remembered.
“It was an unbelievable finish,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “… He just came out of nowhere. It was fortunate for us he was playing for the Razorbacks.”
Young led Kentucky with 23 points, while Julius Randle had 20 and Aaron Harrison 16.
Arkansas nearly won the game in regulation, taking a 74-71 lead with 9.4 seconds remaining on a three-point play by Harris.